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General News of Thursday, 18 April 2019


Study Menzgold red flags to curb future scams - Clinton

Amanda Akuokor Clinton, Lawyer for the aggrieved customers of Menzgold Amanda Akuokor Clinton, Lawyer for the aggrieved customers of Menzgold

The lawyer for almost a thousand aggrieved customers of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Ms Amanda Akuokor Clinton, has charged the Ghanaian authorities to probe how the troubled gold dealership firm operated so as to help the regulators identify the red flags of such sophisticated schemes when they spring up in the future.

Until the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) halted Menzgold’s operations, the company was paying its clients a monthly interest of between 7 and 12 per cent on their gold collectibles deposited with the company.

Menzgold operated the investment scheme together with its sister company Brew Marketing and insisted that their operations did not fall under any of the regulatory bodies in the country.

The embattled Ghana-based firm has, however, failed to pay its numerous customers’ investments since August 2018 with the Economic and Organised Crime (EOCO) freezing some of its assets after a court action.

The CEO of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1) is currently in Dubai, where he was allegedly arrested by Interpol due to a red alert issued by the Ghanaian authorities for him.

Ms Clinton told Benjamin Akakpo on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Wednesday, 17 April 2019 that: “What I would have expected was for this to have been a real opportunity to understand what Menzgold did, because if it is a very sophisticated operation and if they have, per say, gotten away with it, it is important for the public to also know the mechanisms behind that and what exactly they did [and] who allowed them to do it in order to prevent this from happening in the future”.

In her view, a detailed assessment of Menzgold’s modus operandi will help the regulatory authorities to exercise better oversight in any future scheme that rolls out operations similar to Menzgold’s.

She warned that the country could be a fertile ground for several other sophisticated schemes, insisting: “If we don’t study Menzgold and analyse it… and really look into what they did, if we don’t do that, Ghana is going to be a hotbed for white-collar crime, because it means that anybody could potentially get away with this and just follow that model”.

“We must never let something like this happen again and turn a blind eye because had it been resolved within the first few months, the millions of dollars would not have been pumped into it,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, Ms Clinton has officially requested Ghana's Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, to produce the Dubai court judgement which acquitted and discharged Mr Mensah.

The Ghanaian CEO had gone to Dubai late last year hoping to retrieve some $28 million (now $39 million in current gold value terms) owed Menzgold by a Dubai-based company for gold supply.

He was, however, arrested by the authorities in Dubai in December 2018 following a report lodged against him by the company that he had scammed them of some $51 million dollars.

Reports were rife that the court dismissed the case in favour of NAM1, an event that was confirmed by Mr Kpemka in some media interviews.

Among other things, Ms Clinton has requested official confirmation from the Attorney General’s office beyond the WhatsApp and phone calls received by the Deputy AG in that regard, based upon which he subsequently confirmed to the local media that NAM1 had, indeed, been acquitted and discharged by the Dubai court.

Ms Clinton is also seeking confirmation from the Deputy Attorney General about whether or not his statement in relation to the judgement in Dubai was an official and accepted statement by the Ghana government, given that on 11 April 2019, the Ghana Consul-General to Dubai issued an apology retracting every bit of her comment and apologising to the government since her statement breached a government directive that gagged all appointees from speaking on the Menzgold matter.

She also wants answers concerning the extradition of NAM1 to Ghana.

Additionally, Ms Clinton asked: “Following the 30-day lapse after the judgement, how and when will Mr Mensah be brought back to Ghana by the government and/or Interpol?”

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